Colorado Green Building Moves Mountains
The 2015 Rocky Mountain Green Conference offered the construction industry at large a platform for inspiration and excitement. The event saw an increase in audience of more than 50 percent over the 2014 conference.
“There is so much passion in our region’s green building community,” Sharon Alton said. She’s the executive director of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Colorado. “If your mission is to transform an entire industry, you have to be passionate and bold.”
Lisa Stanley, vice president of product management at USGBC, expanded on the unique position of Colorado, and Denver specifically, as a leader in sustainability. “This is one of the strongest cities we have in the United States. There’s real dedication to green building and a great community to support it,” she said.
Tom Peterson, executive director of the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association (CAPA) shared that the “build green” industry currently has not had a direct impact on the pavements in Colorado. Instead, the asphalt pavements can have a positive impact on the green building movement. He shared with AsphaltPro that the asphalt industry’s message of having a 100 percent recyclable product; warm-mix asphalt products that reduce energy use during production; perpetual, sustainable pavements that don’t require the kind of reconstruction that an alternate pavement choice would, etc., is a solid package of messages that have made traction with groups that are paying attention.
The Rocky Mountain Green conference included participation from the asphalt industry in 2014, according to a USGBC spokesperson, but this year’s docket was filled with other news. The opening session unveiled plans for Denver’s National Western Stock Show Complex, with a review of how the plans will harness public-private partnerships and reshape the Denver community. The soon-to-be-revamped area is one of the first experiences for many visitors to the Mile High City, and the new project will reflect the community’s message of opportunity and sustainability.
The National Western Center represents a visionary transformation of the National Western Complex and Denver Coliseum sites into a must-see destination and regional asset, enhancing these current Denver landmarks through creative year-round activity. The master planning effort will bolster a variety of opportunities through the involvement of partners including Colorado State University, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, History Colorado and an Advisory Committee made up of residents, business owners and other stakeholders from the surrounding Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods.
Rocky Mountain Green featured four education tracks and more than 20 sessions reviewing best practices in the region. The developers of Lamar Station Crossing discussed their commitment to make this community one of Colorado’s first LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND). The Lakewood development was the first major investment in the neighborhood in 40 years.